TV turns spotlight on Gate Pa

By Sonya Bateson

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LOCAL FACE: Tauranga's Awanui Black is one of three local elders interviewed for the programme.
LOCAL FACE: Tauranga's Awanui Black is one of three local elders interviewed for the programme.

Part of Tauranga's history will screen on television tomorrow.

TV One programme Waka Huia will be screening a half-hour documentary about the Battle of Gate Pa from 10.30am, the last of a four-part series about the land wars.

The documentary features interviews with local Tauranga people and footage from the 150th anniversary commemoration events on April 29.

Director Piata Gardiner-Hoskins, originally from Tauranga, told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend she was nervous about the Sunday night screening as all her family would be watching.

"I'm from Tauranga, so I had my hand up to do this. I thought it would be something I would like to do and something I'm a bit more involved in. I was learning about it for my own curiosity and presenting the story as someone from Tauranga was important, but it was also a lot of pressure."

"It wasn't just making any old documentary, it was 'wow, all my family are going to be watching this so I've got to do it right and from all sides'."

Miss Gardiner-Hoskins (Ngai Te Ahi, Ngati He) said it was a big project trying to sum up the different sides of the battle into a half-hour documentary.

To try and get a broader picture of the battle, three local elders were interviewed, Awanui Black, Hauata Palmer and Tamiti Tata. "They gave an account of what happened during the Battle of Gate Pa, from the reasons some Tauranga hapu joined the war in Waikato right down to how the battle went, everything they had heard from their ancestors about why the battle occurred."

The documentary also looked at the devastating Battle of Te Ranga, then the mass land confiscation that happened after, Miss Gardiner-Hoskins said.

"At the end of the day, what a lot of them are saying is despite everything that happened, you need to remember the battles that occurred so we don't go down the same road again.

"We are still here today and still thriving, both Maori and Pakeha in Tauranga, so we carry on while still remembering the battles that occurred."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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